August 12, 2020 — New York
American Jewish Committee (AJC) today released an Arabic-language video about the Jewish connection to Jerusalem, part of the organization’s highly successful Arabic video series, ‘An al-Yahud (“About the Jews”).
The animated short film presents the long history of Jerusalem and the city’s centrality to Judaism and the Jewish people, from biblical times to the present day. In addition to exploring the place of Jerusalem in Jewish tradition and religious practice, the video charts the continuous Jewish presence in the city for more than two millennia. A review of the city’s tumultuous status in the twentieth century concludes with an expression of hope that Jerusalem—which is sacred to Muslims, Christians, and Jews—will soon earn one of its biblical names, “the City of Peace.” It is also being released in English.
“Jerusalem and the Jewish people are inextricably linked,” said AJC CEO David Harris. “For millennia, Jews have been central to Jerusalem and Jerusalem has been central to the Jews. And yet, there are some who deny or minimize our connection to Judaism’s most sacred city, ignoring age-old religious and historical texts, irrefutable archaeological evidence, and the Jewish people’s deep and impassioned attachment to Jerusalem since antiquity. This important video tells the story of Jerusalem through Jewish eyes, introducing audiences across the Arab world to the facts behind the Jewish people’s powerful connection to the city. Only once that connection is acknowledged, alongside that of Christians and Muslims who also venerate the city, will true peace between Israel and her Arab neighbors be possible.”
The new animated short film is the fourth in AJC’s Arabic-language video series, ‘An al-Yahud (“About the Jews”), which has reached tens of millions across the Arab world. Launched earlier this year, the project’s Arabic-language Facebook page has over 168,000 followers and its Twitter account has over 63,000. The top locations of the videos’ viewers include Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Tunisia, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates. The previous three videos focused on the origins and beliefs of the Jewish people, the history of Muslim-Jewish relations, and the Holocaust.
‘An al-Yahud builds on AJC’s extensive and longstanding engagement with the Arab and Muslim worlds. For more than three decades, AJC leaders have regularly met with Arab and Muslim leaders across the Middle East and North Africa to exchange views on matters of mutual concern, among them the fight against extremism, Muslim-Jewish relations, and deepening ties between Israel and Arab states. In the United States, AJC co-convenes the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council (MJAC) with the Islamic Society of North America, offering Muslim and Jewish leaders a platform for advocacy on combating hate crimes, religious discrimination, and other domestic issues of common concern.